Coronavirus Lockdown: Rs 6.45 lakh cr worth loans sanctioned by PSBs during 1 March-15 May, says Nirmala Sitharaman

State-owned banks have sanctioned about Rs 6.45 lakh crore worth loans to various sectors including MSME, agriculture and retail between 1 March and 15 May when businesses were reeling under the impact of COVID-19 crisis

Press Trust of India May 19, 2020 13:23:13 IST
Coronavirus Lockdown: Rs 6.45 lakh cr worth loans sanctioned by PSBs during 1 March-15 May, says Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi: State-owned banks have sanctioned about Rs 6.45 lakh crore worth loans to various sectors including MSME, agriculture and retail between 1 March and 15 May when businesses were reeling under the impact of COVID-19 crisis.

Loans sanctioned at the end of May 8 stood at Rs 5.95 lakh crore.

"Public Sector Banks sanctioned over Rs 1.03 lakh crore as emergency credit lines & working capital enhancements in the period 20 March to 15 May, which is a substantial increase over the Rs 65,879 crore that had been sanctioned up to 8 May," she said.

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State-owned banks launched an emergency credit line to provide funds to its existing MSME and corporate borrowers in the last week of March, soon after the lockdown was announced.

Under the scheme, the banks provide an additional line of credit of 10 percent of the existing fund based on working capital limits, subject to a maximum of Rs 200 crore.

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Besides, banks have offered a 3-month moratorium on loan repayment till 31 May as per the RBI guidelines. With the government extending the nationwide lockdown up to May 31, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to extend the moratorium on repayment of loans for three more months, according to experts.

It is high time that businesses are given at least one-quarter of business operations before asking them to start addressing the loan obligations, said Indiforward''s Executive Director Abhishek Chauhan.

An additional three-month moratorium by RBI is absolutely necessary both in the interest of businesses and the financial sector, he added.

In March, RBI had allowed a three-month moratorium on repayment of all term loans due between 1 March, 2020 and 31 May, 2020.

"With the lockdown now extended up to 31 May, we expect RBI to extend the moratorium by three months more," SBI's research report Ecowrap said.

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